|Overall Rating||Liked it!|
|Riding Level||Intermediate - Expert|
|Fits Boot size (US)||8-10, 10-12, > 12|
|Manufactured in||USA by Never Summer|
|Camber Profile||Hybrid Rocker|
|Approx. Weight||Feels Normal|
|On Snow Feel|
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Never Summer Chairman 2020 - 2015 Review by The Good Ride
The Never Summer Chairman added ripsaw to the camber profile for 2018-2019 and it was really well received with our crew. It helped us forget about the 25 disappearing from the line. I think they should have just called it the 26 and kept going but the Chairman is a super fun ride now. It’s a great take on hybrid rocker freeride. Very little has changed from in the 2020 Never Summer Chairman compared to the 2018 model so this review still stands.
Ethics Statement: We don’t get paid by the manufacturer to write these reviews. We do make money from the “Where To Buy” links, but this is our best attempt at an honest and objective review from an average riders’ perspective.
Conditions: Good groomers, hard snow and some thicker powder
Riders: James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-195lbs)
Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV
Insoles: Footprint Insole Technology Gameghangers Low Profile
Bindings: Union Atlas
Set Up: 22.75” Close to reference and set all the way back 18 front -6 back
Approximate Weight: Feels pretty normal.
Flex: Bordering on stiff.
Sizing: The Chairman was pretty easy to turn at a size 160 and it felt like a good fit for my boot size. I’d love to try the 157 see if it’s more suitable for my specs. Seems like it could work well too. I’d keep the regular sizes below10 if you want to carve hard without toe/heel drag. Maybe 10.5 with the 164 but after that, I’d probably go to the wide/X sizes.
On Snow Feel: So as far as Never Summer boards go the Chairman isn’t that bad when it comes to stability between the feet but it’s still on the loose side when the snow gets medium to hard and it can have that auto-spin thing happen. In softer snow, you almost don’t even notice the rocker between the feet and it feels pretty stable but the personality does change from condition to condition. The Never Summer Chairman has a pretty aggressive directional feel to it but it’s very forgiving for what it is and it’s very easy to skid turns with. Even with the extra camber in the tip/tail for 2018 and 2019, the Chairman is only a touch less forgiving and the tip/tail still don’t catch anywhere close to a full camber ride.
Edge Hold: Feels like a little more grip underfoot than many other NS boards and it borders on being an ok board for even a little ice but it’s still not a specialist like some are out there with lots of disruption in the sidecut.
Turn Initiation: Not super quick but quick enough to get where I want to go when I want it.
Turning Experience: The Never Summer Chairman was very fun to turn and pretty much shined on any radius at almost any speed. It didn’t need you to be super off the back foot but it liked it a little better.
Carving: There is a little hurry up through a really hard carve which is a very common trait for boards with rocker between the feet but not as much as most out there and that extra camber/ripsaw in the tip/tail really makes this a fun hybrid rocker carver. You can really get after it with the Chairman.
Speed: A little loose if you want to flat base it and point it but the rest of the characteristics of the board love speed. It’s super damp, has a fast base and as long as you are on edge it jams.
Uneven Terrain: Never Summer does uneven terrain right and it makes all kinds of uneven terrain better than it should be.
Powder: The Chairman is pretty good in powder when setting all the way back and it shines pretty well. At 21.75″ wide all the way back it’s got about 4″ back on board which isn’t much for a freeride board. Many all mountain boards have more set back on board than this but it still floats really well for how centered you are on board thanks to 5mm of taper for most boards and a little more volume in the nose than tail. It might struggle in the super deep if it’s not incredibly light and fluffy.
Buttering: It doesn’t break to easy between the feet but the rocker helps you do more than you would think for its flex.
Switch: It’s got more of a double ender personality than you would think and it’s very doable switch even with 5mm of taper.
Jumps: Really good pop and it’s very doable. Likes directional air a little better but you can for sure land switch.
Pipe: Yeah I think I’d have a great time with the 157 in the pipe but I keep getting skunked due to maintenance, events or no snow when I have the Chairman.
So, in conclusion, the Chairman offers up a lot of fun and its got the kind of ride that I think many will like that want something a little more directional than your average all mountain board but still want more of a double ender feel. It really shines when it comes to groomer riding.
Never Summer Chairman Past Reviews
2015 to 2017 Never Summer Chairman Snowboard Review
So the 2015 to 2017 Never Summer Chairman are the same. Since the Chairman was new last year there weren’t really any tweaks made.
The Never Summer Chairman is a pretty aggressive hybrid rocker freeride board that offers up a pretty solid ride in powder and not a bad ride at all when it’s a groomer day. Our only complaint is we’d like to see it with the NS Ripsaw Camber Profile instead of the less aggressive Rocker and Camber Profile. Nothings changed since it came out in 2015 to 2017.
Conditions: Really good soft snow with some slightly tracked up areas near the bottom.
Riders: James, Peter, kyle, Jimbo, Mike,
Boots: Burton SLX, Burton Ion, Burton Fiend LTD, Salomon F3.0, Nike Lunarendor, Burton Imperial
Bindings: Burton Diode, Flux SF, Union Factory, Burton Mission
Set Up: Set back a bit, approx 23″ wide 18 front 0 back
In 2015 the Never Summer Chairman replaced the Premier and Raptor making it Never Summers only true Freeride focused board. It’s got some personality from the Premier and Raptor but also allot of it’s own personality. Now that the Twenty Five came out for this year with it’s augmented camber we found that more fun to turn. Still the Chairman is a fun board that gives you that stiff flex but with a forgiving ride.
Approximate Weight: 160 is 6.2 lbs but weights vary.
On Snow Feel: The Chairman takes the feel of the discontinued Premier and turns it into it’s own tapered freeride twist. It’s got a semi-stable ride that isn’t quite like the Ripsaw Camber profile like you see in the Twenty Five (new for 2017) but it’s a little more stable than most Rocker & Camber profiles we have tried. It can still be a little bit on the loose side when the snow is harder. It’s stiff fast and mean but at the same time pretty forgiving thanks to this camber profile. Don’t get me wrong it’s still for an advanced to expert rider and It’s one of the stiffest hybrid rocker boards we have come across. It’s for bombing powder, groomers and carving it up. It’s one of the only hybrid rocker boards that could end up riding you if you aren’t always on your A game.
Turn Initiation: The Chairman feels like it’s not quite as quick as the Raptor it replaced edge to edge but it turns a lot quicker than you would think for it’s waist width. Maybe it’s the tapered tail. I think they were going for a more stable platform and allowing the taper to give it a little bit more agility than you would normally have with that much waist width. For example the Raptor 159 was a 25.3cm waist and the Chairman 160 is a 25.6 cm waist which runs a bit on the wide size for regular sized boards. The more I rode this the more I felt the board could turn faster.
Skidded Turns: much easier than you would think to skid turns and that’s one of the bonuses of this hybrid rocker profile.
Carving: It’s one of those boards that can carve pretty well and the more I rode this the more it warmed up on me. It was really fun on first chair morning groomers. I would of liked to see a little more camber in the tip and tail like the Ripsaw has as I think it would give it a real spring out of each turn and make this a top notch carver. Still it’s one of the better carvers of all the Rocker & Camber profile boards from NS I tried. The tapered tail wasn’t at all washy but I took a more off the back foot surfy carve to it instead of a heavy on the front foot skate like carve. For 2017 NS came out with the Twenty Five and it’s got more carving power than the Chairman while still providing a similar ride. If carving tickles your taint then the Twenty Five is the better call of the NS Freeride boards.
Flex: Stiff to Medium/Stiff and not an easy board to butter. You have to be pretty strong to bend this past the angle of the rocker.
Edge Hold: Very solid edge hold but it’s still not a board I’d recommend for east coast riders or people who see ice a lot. It holds a little better in hard conditions than almost all other Never Summer boards and it doesn’t grab in thick snow either.
Powder: We tested this board in one of the worst winters on record so it was hard to come across anything that resembles powder other than slush. it seems like it would have really easy float when set back and also really easy on the back leg because of the little bit of taper. Still it doesn’t feel like it would be outstanding through a tight tree run but it is doable for sure. It feels like it’s more for those that like to straight line through a steep chute or make big wide open turns down an untracked run.
Speed: Very fast for a hybrid rocker board without having the consequence that many do at this level of speed. You can bomb with this board.
Uneven Terrain: For a board this stiff it’s pretty good but it’s no easy board to weave in and out of moguls or end of the day bumpy snow. It’s about as good a board of this type will get.
Switch: Not really for those who like riding both directions. It really favors the nose first style of riding.
Jumps: Not for the park but great for a method off some natural terrain at high speed.
Jibbing: No fucking thank you.
Pipe: I didn’t get to ride this in the pipe but I wouldn’t mind it at all if I had a 160 or shorter. I would only want to surf the pipe and never really ride switch but I bet it wouldn’t be bad.
So all in all we found it didn’t quite have that instant magic that the Raptor did but it warmed up on me over time. it’s a very good board that I think a lot of people will like if they are tired of their current freeride board being unforgiving but still want speed and super easy float in powder
The video reviews are of the 2015 model but since it didn’t change for 2016 the 2015 review still stands.
About the chairman from NS
Never Summer Chairman Specs
Never Summer Chairman Images
Never Summer Company Information
Never Summer Chairman User Reviews
Chairman makes you smile
I was able to demo this in a 161 Wide on Killington with Burton Genesis bindings this past weekend. (Weekend before Christmas). Conditions were pretty nice especially for this time of year, there was some ice but fluffy stuff on top and medium snow on the sides to get into. My personal board is a Custom Flying V 159 approx. 5 years old with Burton Freestyle bindings.
I was able to handle Black Diamond moguls pretty well, seemed like a bit more work on this board but not much more.
Pretty nice here on steep icy stuff I wasn't afraid of ice at all, this board really digs in. The board wants to go fast and handles tracked up snow really well. The ride seemed quite stable to me.
Demoing this board definitely made me smile, it was a lot of fun. The only reason I wouldn't go for it is because I need something a tad less stiff for the tight tress. I would probably be fine with it but there's better choices for the type of riding I do.